Accomplished Pilot and STEM Advocate

School of Computing and Engineering selects Philip Straub to receive Alumni Award
Philip Straub
Philip Straub (B.S.E.E. '92)
Executive Vice President,
Managing Director,
Garmin International

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. In 2019, UMKC School of Computing and Engineering is honoring Philip Straub (B.S.E.E. ’92) with their Alumni Achievement Award.

As executive vice president, managing director at Garmin International, Straub oversees all aspects of the company’s aviation division including product development, flight operations, sales and marketing. He spoke with us about his career at Garmin and enthusiasm for supporting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

You’ve been with Garmin for 25 years and held a variety of positions in engineering, product development and management. Which have been your favorite roles or projects?

There are many fulfilling experiences over the years, but I treasure the time in the mid to late 1990s when I was involved in a revolutionary new aviation radio development. We were a smaller company at that time and had to wear many hats. I would go from writing digital filters in optimized assembly code to flight testing that software in the afternoon. There was immense gratitude from having that much contribution and ownership in a product development.

Why is it important to you to promote STEM education?

Think about products and technology that have affected our lives for the positive. These products and technology are driven by the passion of innovation. This passion for innovation comes from people, and it comes from people that are educated in the areas of STEM.

What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses when asked to assume additional responsibility and then objectively work on your limitations to turn those into strengths.

About the Alumni Awards

Straub will be honored at the 2019 UMKC Alumni Awards on March 15. Proceeds from the event will support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards events have raised more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for students.

Published: Feb 4, 2019

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